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John Welford

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Only in America
When Shylock presented himself at the Immigration desk on
arrival at New York’s JFK Airport, the ensuing interview proved to be quite
enlightening. “Where are you from?” asked the official in charge. “Venice”, said Shylock. “Is that Venice New York, Venice ...

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The MasterChef Witches
Heaven alone knows what possessed the BBC to allow Mabel, Doris
and Alice – the exceptionally ugly weird sisters who were the residents of
Blasted Heath Cottage – to take part in their MasterChef cookery show. Perhaps
it was a misguided belief that any refe...

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Neutral Tones, by Thomas Hardy
( For more poetry analyses, see Great poetry explained: an index to my blogs ) “Neutral Tones” is an early poem by Thomas
Hardy (1840-1928). It was included in his first collection, entitled “Wessex
Poems”, which was published in 1898, but this volume was a...

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The Darkest Hour: a poem
( For other pieces of creative writing by me, see Stories and Poems: an index to my blogs ) It’s often said, maybe it could be true, That just before the sky gives hint of blue The night does all it can to fright and cower It’s what is sometimes called the ...

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Eastern double-collared sunbird
( For other articles about birds, see Birds - an index to my blogs ) The eastern double-collared sunbird (Cinnyris mediocris) is
found in high regions of Africa such as the Cherangani mountains of Kenya,
where it has evolved a remarkable way of coping with ...

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Great poetry explained: an index to my blogs
Arnold, Matthew Dover Beach Auden, W H Lady, Weeping at the Crossroads Belloc, Hilaire Matilda Who Told Lies, and was Burned to Death Blake, William The Garden of Love Chesterton, G K Americanisation Clare, John Autumn Morning Cope, Wendy Bloody Men Davies,...

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Lausanne: In Gibbon's Old Garden 11-12 pm, a poem by Thomas Hardy
This poem was first published in 1902 in the “Poems of
Pilgrimage” section of “Poems of the Past and The Present”. The Poem A spirit seems to pass, Formal in pose, but grave withal and grand: He contemplates a writing in his hand, And far lamps fleck him th...

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The yellowhammer
(Emberiza citrinella) is a member of the bunting family that has red
conservation status in the United Kingdom due to its declining numbers caused
mainly by modern farming methods that have led to loss of habitat. Distribution
and habitat T...

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Martin Chuzzlewit, by Charles Dickens: a summary of the plot
Chuzzlewit family is introduced at a gathering at the home of Seth Pecksniff,
an architect, in a village near Salisbury in Wiltshire. The
head of the family is “Old Martin”, believed by all the other family members to
be incredibly rich and whose fortun...

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How to help a frind with the blues
are plenty of ways in which you can get this situation all wrong!   For example, the often heard “Pull yourself
together!” and “Why don’t you just snap out of it?” are guaranteed not to be
helpful things to say. The
first thing to do is assess just ho...
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